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18+ An Era of Dusk

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Madrar, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir left the argonian and the others outside, eager to get a drink and something to eat. She pushed the door inside to hear the man that'd appointed himself group leader mention that she there were not enough rooms for all of them. The khajiit huffed a sigh. She valued her personal space more than most and the idea of sharing a room with someone didn't exactly appeal to her. Claiming a room seemed like a better idea to her than sticking around with the others and chatting. Besides, Thoras could fill the rest in whenever he finished meandering around outside.

    She went the door of the nearest available room, undoing the buckle of her swords' sheathe. Inside, she realized the room was not as unoccupied as she'd thought. A naked woman, the elf with the fancy sword moves, sat in a steaming tub of water. "Sorry. Didn't realize this room was occupied" she apologized, placing Moonfang on one of the nearby beds. "Suppose we're roommates."
     
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  2. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Ysanes' head snapped around as the door to the room she'd selected opened. "Oh!" She exclaimed, as one of the khajiit women stepped inside. She reached for her mask with one hand, while doing her best to cover up with the other, no easy task when one was naked in a bathtub. She barely heard the khajiit womans' apology, but had enough sense to utter "it's alright, I suppose. You couldn't have known there was someone already in here." Still very much concscious of her situation and her vulnerability, she said "could you get the door? I'd rather people not see inside." She managed to fasten the veil covering the scarred portion of her face, before she turned in the khajiits' direction. She wasn't quite sure if she'd be able to force the woman out of the room. After all, if they were to travel together, alienating one of her companions seemed like a bad idea.
     
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  3. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Zarr joined the others in making their way back towards the inn, glad that the crowd had thinned out greatly, either having wandered off to their homes or into the inn that she could see ahead. She could see the argonian, Sothas, waiting for someone on the porch of the inn, though he seemed to be looking past her at the moment. Following the other khajiit woman, she stepped inside the Moorside inn, where she saw the rest of their companions. She quickly made her way through the crowd towards Dren, 'accidentally' bumping into a few of the nords inside and helping herself to a few coins here and there. When she reached her breton companion, she tugged his arm and murmured "things here may be more dangerous than we thought." She murmured, "I ran into two of the others outside and they seemed disturbed by something." Zarr left out the exact circumstances of their meeting.
     
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  4. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Dren had been keeping his distance from the others, keeping a wary eye on them. Like he'd told the argonian, he wasn't about to let his guard down around these others, even if he might be willing to fight with them. The group that had already assembled in the tavern began comparing notes, but Dren saw no reason to add to their collective knowledge. Especially since he hadn't heard or seen anything that could be of help in locating the villagers. By the sound of things, neither had anyone else.He was beginning to think the Morthal was nothing more than a dead end when Zarr and two of the others walked in, the petite khajiit making a beeline to his side. In quiet tones she told him that things may be more dangerous than they had first thought, and relayed how disturbed the dunmer and khajiit had been when she met them. "Dangerous how?" He murmured back, eyes scanning the crowd of tired looking men and women that had begun to crowd the inn.
     
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  5. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir turned from the bed and smirked as she saw the elf making a poor attempt to cover herself. "Relax," she drawled, "you don't have anything I haven't got myself." As she said that she did notice a hint of scarring around the lower half of the elfs' face. If the wound was extensive as she imagined, it was no surprise she wore a veil. Scars were a great way to make sure someone remembered you. Especially elaborate ones. She circled around the tub and snatched up the soap, seeing the opportunity to do the altmer a favour and learn a little about her at the same time. "Lean forwards" she instructed, "I'll do your back." As she bent to begin lathering up the pale gold flesh of the elf, she couldn't help but noticed the angry looking bruise forming on her shoulder. She vaguely remembered Lorkas offering healing to any who needed it, and the elf refusing. Perhaps she had reasons to distrust mages. Or nords. Either way, it was something to think about. "So, are you from Alinor, or did you grow up on the mainland?"
     
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  6. Andre Marek

    Andre Marek You can run, but you'll only die tired...

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    Lost in thought as he was, Lorkas took a moment to realize that the large Argonian near the inn was Sothas and a moment more to realize that he was waving to get his attention. With a shake of his head, he waved briefly before adjusting his course to meet the warrior at the Moorsides steps. Even from there, Lorkas could hear the faint hum of conversation leaking through the wooden door.

    "Are we the last to return?" He asked once within earshot. "Did you or the others learn anything interesting from the locals?" He expected that the townsfolk weren't going to be very forthcoming with any information that would be relevant to their goals but one never knew.

    As he waited for an answer he nodded towards the steps and continued,
    "I think I have something for us but it isn't much."
     
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  7. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Ysane forced herself to relax as the khajiit circled around her, very much, she thought, like a hunter circling its' prey. She knew that the woman wouldn't feign friendliness unless she was seeking something herself. Information, probably. Reluctantly, she leaned forwards, the warm, gently steaming water rippling around her as she did so. To her mild surprise,the other woman didn't comment on the bruising.

    Instead, she just did as she'd said she would, beginning to work on her back with soapy, furred hands. There was no denying it was a pleasant feeling, having someone else touch her without the intent to cause pain. She sighed softly, placing her elbows on her knees and crossing her arms. Her eyes had just begun to drift shut, despite the knowledge that she was completely vulnerable at the moment.

    The first question came a few moments later. It was innocent enough, asking where Ysane had come from, and she answered honestly "I'm from the isles. Though I haven't been back in some time."
     
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  8. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Sothas followed the wizard inside, satisfied that he was the last of the group to arrive. He did his best to follow Lorkas towards the rest of their group, though it wasn't as easy for him. The tavern had grown crowded with locals, making it considerably more difficult for someone in full plate armour to move around. He received a few dirty looks and grumbled curses as he made his way to the others, muttering apologies the whole way.

    He reached the group just to hear Lorkas ask if they were the last to return, and if they'd learnt anything of use from the locals. "We are." He confirmed, "but I can't say we've found much of use. At least, I didn't."
     
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  9. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The evening came with a final rush of patrons, eager to sit at the bar or by the fire before they retired to their own homes for the night. Lorkas and Sothas, the last two members of their group, made their way inside and joined the rest of the group, except for Kaliir and Ysane. Merric, for his part, kept most of his attention on the innkeeper, waiting for her to point out the individual who might be able to help them pick up the trail of their lost villagers.

    So he was somewhat surprised when the female dunmer approached him, mentioning his quiet isolation, and wondering out loud whether he was brooding or as lost as the rest of the group. "The latter more than the former." He admitted, "I'm not much of an investigator and it seems like we've run into something of a dead end here."

    As he spoke, he noticed the innkeeper making a beeline for their table, a tray of tankards held out before her. She bent at the waist, placing her mouth close enough so that Merric could easily hear her despite conversations going on around them. "You see that man, in the tattered cloak?" When he nodded, she continued "that's your man. He spends most days out in the wilderness. If anyone saw your villagers, it's him."

    Merric nodded his appreciation, then took one of the full tankards, dropping a few septims in its' place. He tapped Argus on the shoulder and nodded towards the cloaked nord. "He's our man, according to the innkeeper. I think the pair of us should go speak with him. Less likely to spook him if it's only us."

    With his intentions stated, he lead Argus over to the table, getting a good look at the dark haired, rugged looking nord. The man squinted dark blue eyes at them, one hand disappearing underneath the table. "Help you?"

    "My name is Merric. This is my companion, Argus. We're searching for a group of villagers that may have passed through here, from Dragonsbridge. I heard you are the one to ask about such things." He placed the tankard in front of the man, who eyed it appreciatively.

    "Might be. Ask your questions, and I'll see if I can be of help." The cloaked nord said, pulling the tankard of ale towards himself with his free hand. Merric glanced to Argus, reasoning that the nord would feel more comfortable speaking with one of his own kind.
     
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  10. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras lounged against one of the wide pillars that lined the tavern, watching the crowd and only half listening to the conversation of his companions. Kaliir had already headed to one of the rooms, doubtless to claim it before anyone else could. Like most of his companions, he got a few strange looks, but no one had made a fuss about the odd group being inside the tavern.

    The door opening grabbed his attention and his grip on his glaive tightened ever so slightly. Inside stepped the heavily armoured Sothas and the wizard, Lorkas. Both made their way towards the rest of the group and the elf chuckled softly, forcing himself to relax. Apparently their encounter with the robed watcher had disturbed him more than he thought. Signalling one of the servers, he ordered a tankard of ale for himself, turning back to hear Lorkas saying that he might have something. The nord didn't elaborate, however, prompting Thoras to quirk an eyebrow. "Is this something of a...sensitive nature?"
     
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  11. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    Balgur grunted in surprise as both the quiet imperial and their nord 'spokesperson' left to speak with one of the newly arrived locals. The old soldier watched them for a moment, wondering what the man might know about their missing villagers, if anything. He was about to wander over, regardless of Merrics' wishes, when the mage and argonian returned, the last of their group to do so.

    Lorkas mentioned that he might have discovered something, but didn't elaborate. Something that both Balgur and Thoras noticed. "Something to do with..." he nodded meaningfully towards the man their two companions had met up with. "Or something else?"
     
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  12. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Argus followed the gaze of Merric and the bartender, to a hooded figure who had just entered the inn. Merric suggested that he and Argus go over to meet with them, reasoning that the individual was more likely to cooperate with a pair of friendly faces rather than a whole group surrounding him. "Let's go" Argus agreed, seeing Lorkas and Sothas enter and join the others at the same time.

    The man watched them cautiously as they approached and Argus was careful to keep his hands clear of his weapon. They hadn't caused any trouble in town, as far as he knew and it seemed like this man might be their one lead to finding their missing villagers. Alienating him now would be an extremely foolish mistake.

    Merric seemed to understand that as well, quickly placing an ale in front of the man before introducing himself and Argus. The man seemed amendable, looking from Merric to his fellow nord as he sipped his ale. A quick glance from the imperial told Argus that he felt it best that another nord do the talking. Nodding slightly, he slipped into the chair across from the man. Maintaining the gruff nordic accent that he'd donned since meeting his companions, he said "what my friend says is true. Word has it you've been out and about. Past the walls. Any chance you've picked up a trail or seen hints of passage near Morthal?"
     
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  13. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The man looked from Merric to Argus, took another sip of ale, swallowed, then nodded slowly. "Aye, I've seen your missing folk. Not three days past, I was out hunting, tricky business, what with the dead chasing after anything that breathes these days." He sighed and took another drink. "I'd just shot a nice plump pheasant when I saw 'em. Small group, roped together. Most looked like typical village folk. Plain clothes, frightened faces. There were others, too. Men in dark robes, guiding the whole group."

    The nord paused in his story, collecting his thoughts, "I tell you, something about those folk didn't sit right with me. The way they stood. The way they moved even. Mind you, they didn't stick around for long. Herded their captives into a cave set into the mountainside, and wandered back towards the swamps."

    "They just abandoned their captives?" Merric blurted, finding the whole thing...odd, to say the least. He could think of little reason someone would go through the trouble of abducting people just to leave them in the wilderness.

    Annoyed, the nord glanced at him. "That's what I said. I didn't stick around to see if those people came back out. I didn't want to run foul of those strange folks, or the dead, and the sun was setting, so I ran back here, fast as I could. Told the guard, but they have their hands full, as you can guess."

    "Where, exactly was this cave? Do you remember?" Merric asked, forgetting that he'd intended to leave the questions to Argus.

    "'Course I do. I'll even take you there. In the morning, of course." The man nodded, then pushed his empty tankard towards the pair of them. "And for the right price." Merric nodded, dropping a small pouch of coins beside the empty cup. Enough for a couple of refills, at least. Then he glanced at Argus, wondering if the other nord had any further questions.
     
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  14. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir continued to lather up and rub down the altmer as she revealed that she was, in fact, from the isles. No big surprise there. She moved her hands up, rubbing her thumbs into the muscles at the base of the elfs' neck when something caught her eye. An old burn, partially hidden by her dark red hair, on the back of the neck.

    Curious, Kaliir moved the elfs' hair off the the side, and paused. It wasn't an old burn at all. It was a brand, marking a sigil that Kaliir had only seen a few times in the past. Thalmor. It was an odd place to brand anyone, especially where it could be so easily hidden. Presumably, the thalmor hadn't branded their own operative, which meant she'd been caught by someone. And escaped, apparently. No wonder she wasn't eager to go around showing her face.

    "Well, well" she drawled, "what have we here?"
     
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  15. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Ysanes' eyes snapped open as the khajiit brushed her hair aside. Normally, that wouldn't have been a problem, but when one had a brand identifying them as a thalmor agent in that particular location, things became a little more complicated. Her right arm snapped up and around, slender fingers closing around the khajiits' wrist. She braced her feet against the edge of the tub, though she wasn't sure she'd be able to flip a fully armed and armoured opponent with a sore shoulder. Not to mention she'd need to scramble for her swords to even stand a fighting chance.

    No, she didn't imagine herself surviving such an encounter, and dieing for a falsehood was foolishness of the highest order. So instead,she said "I know what it looks like. I'm no thalmor agent, I assure you. These brands were burned into my flesh against my will, by my captors."
     
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  16. Andre Marek

    Andre Marek You can run, but you'll only die tired...

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    Lorkas and Sothas had only just reached the group when Thoras approached them, "Is this something of a...sensitive nature?" He asked raising an eyebrow at Lorkas. Casting a frown towards the elf, Lorkas was just about to explain when Balgur intercepted them on their way towards the group with his own questions.

    Following the nod from Balgur and sidestepping Thoras' question for the moment, Lorkas saw Argus and Merric speaking with a dark hooded figure near the far wall. Looking closer, Lorkas shook his head,
    "Unless that man happens to be a necromancer, then no, I don't know a thing about him." He replied gruffly. He glanced towards the group, noticing the absence of Kaliir and the Altmer woman before waving at Jonna and pantomiming tipping back a mug.

    "When did he get here?" He asked Thoras while indicating the hooded man. "And no, nothing sensitive. I had simply thought it prudent to wait for everyone to be together so that I wouldn't have to repeat myself." Lorkas glared at the elf for a moment before Jonna arrived, having understood his impromptu request. Hefting the mug, he took a long draught and wiped the foam away with his sleeve as he waited for Argus and Merric finish their meeting.
     
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  17. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    Balgur looked from the wizard to the man Merric and Argus were currently in conversation with. "Doesn't look the necromancer type to me." He said, "but I haven't met any. Doubt they'd be stupid enough to march in here with a pile of body parts." Finally giving in to the tiredness of the last few hours, he pulled up a chair, sitting so that he had a good view of the common room and door, but not to draw attention himself. He waved one of the servers over, imitating Lorkas in getting a tankard of ale and some roast chicken for his supper.
     
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  18. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras didn't miss the decidedly unhappy look the nord shot his way, as he corrected his assumption that whatever information the mage had dug up was 'sensitive'. Lorkas indicated the cloaked and hooded man that was currently speaking with Argus and Merric, asking when he'd gotten there. "Shortly before you did, actually. Our hostess seems to know him, or at least believe he has some information of his own for us."

    Balgur made a comment about never having met a necromancer, especially one that would march into a tavern with a pile of body parts. "The problem with necromancers, my green friend, is that the body parts have generally been assembled into something capable of marching themselves where ever their master decrees."
     
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  19. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    "At first light, then." Merric agreed, leaving the man to his drink. The rest of the group, meaning Sothas and Lorkas, had joined the others in their corner of the tavern, but the altmer and the dour khajiit woman were still absent. He joined them, assuming Argus would do the same. "It seems we've been dealt some luck at last." He said, "that fellow over there is a local, a hunter, to be specific. Not only did he see our missing people, he has agreed to escort us to the place they were last seen at first light."
     
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  20. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    The elf reacted with admirable quickness, her arm snapping up to get a hold of Kaliirs' in the span of a couple heartbeats. What she planned to do with no weapons and no armour, the khajiit wasn't quite sure. The elf explained that the brands weren't applied by choice. Something she'd guessed already. "While that's all very interesting, I don't want to hear your life story. Fight for the thalmor, don't fight for them. I don't care. I'll keep your secret so long as it doesn't interfere with our task."
     
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